It has been a year since Leah's life was forever changed. A year of feeling like a ghost with ghost parents with the door to her brother's room permanently closed. But when Leah meets Jasper, a new girl in town who never knew Leah's brother, Leah is able to find her way back to herself and to tell her story. But Leah isn't the only one with a story to tell. Jasper is experiencing problems too and has asked Leah to keep her secret. But some secrets are too big to keep and Leah has to decide whether to risk losing her one true friend in order to keep Jasper safe. This is a wonderful story about friendship and moving forward after loss.
Like Leah, Rain has spent 360 something days mourning the loss of a brother. But for Rain, that night, and the promise her brother made her make, has haunted her. Her father has handled the loss by locking himself in his room while her mother is full of energy, energy that has caused her to find a new job in New York City. Rain knows that only 1 in 4 couples make it after the death of a child so she's hoping that this move will help them be the 1. Since running is the only way Rain forgets about the challenges she is facing, she joins the track team and with her new track friends she hopes she can make a plan to keep her parents together. The story is told from two points in time, now and that night.
Amara wants to know more about her family heritage so when she learns her father is taking a work trip to New York City from where they live in Oregon, Amara wants to go with him. The fact her teacher gave them a suitcase project where they have to learn more about their family helps her cause and sends her off to Harlem to meet the grandfather her father hasn't spoken to in 12 year, the same amount of year Amara has been alive. You can not help wanting to visit Harlem after reading this story and the author provides the directions for the suitcase project in the back. A must read for any classroom.
When Caitlyn moved to Vermont she expected it to be hard to be the new girl. She didn't expect that her school would look like a mansion, there would be goats on the soccer field, and everyone would be disappointed that she was not Paulie Fink, the class hero. Now it's Caitlyn's job to pick the next Paulie Fink. Told in a combination of interviews and story, The Next Great Paulie Fink reminded me of the Origami Yoda series. A lot of fun with some serious heart.